Resident Visa 2021 - Let's get started!

I have just attended a seminar by Immigration New Zealand about the new one-off resident visa. Although not much new information was shared, it seems prudent to share what was discussed to keep you fully informed.

The information below should be treated as guidance only. The immigration instructions for the one-off resident visa are still being revised and will need to go through the necessary legislative processes. These will not be announced until later this month or the beginning of November 2021.


The fee for the new one-off resident visa has not yet been set. This will likely be announced at the end of October / beginning of November 2021.

Online Application Process The one-off resident visa application process will be online.


There will be no age limit for the one-off resident visa for the principal applicant and/or partner. Dependent children are limited to 24 years of age and need to be single and financially dependent at the time of the application.

English language Applicants will not have to meet English language requirements.

Health and character

All applicants have to meet health and character requirements as per the current residence instructions. Further details about what evidence needs to be provided to support your health and character will be announced at the end of October / beginning of November 2021.

Change Employment

Immigration New Zealand confirmed you can change employment and apply for a new work visa as long as you continue to meet the criteria at the time of the one -off resident visa application. For example you can accept a new job offer and apply for a new Essential Skills Work Visa and continue to be eligible for the resident visa. An example of what you cannot do is apply for a student or visitor visa as these are not included as eligible visa categories for the one-off resident visa.

The examples above are guidance only. If you plan to change employment or wish to apply for a new visa, please contact me to discuss if/how this could impact your eligibility.

Partners and children

Partners and dependent children can be included in the application. To include a partner you have to provide evidence that you have lived together in a genuine and stable relationship for at least 12 months. Children can be included up to 24 years of age and must be single and financially dependent.

Skilled Migrant Category Applicants

Skilled Migrant Category ("SMC") applicants that are currently in the queue with a resident visa application and who are awaiting allocation are encouraged to keep their application in the queue and apply for the new one-off visa. Once a decision is made on the one-off application you can withdraw your SMC resident visa application. It is not yet clear how fees will be calculated for applicants that have already paid for the Skilled Migrant Category but it was noted that you do not pay two fees.

Processing times

The majority of the one-off resident visa applications should be processed within 12 months of your application. Issues regarding health and character or a lack of evidence could mean processing times may be longer.

This is all the information I have for now until more is provided at the end of this month / beginning of November 2021.

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